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Uniworld MD Chris Townson: ‘We are taking excursions to the next level’

Uniworld UK & Ireland MD Chris Townson

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises UK & Ireland MD Chris Townson tells Cruise Trade News how the line’s Nights Out programme will showcase some of Europe’s finest cities after dark.

At Uniworld, we take a unique approach to evenings. From an on-board perspective,
we are leaders in the industry, with live entertainment from the very best performers, such as soul-stirring opera on board the new Super Ship La Venezia in Italy or the fun and energy of the can-can on our cruises in France.

Now – with the recent launch of our Nights Out programme – we have gone to the next level to immerse our guests in evening activities off the ship.

The programme is designed to showcase the romance, culture, history and traditions of the towns and cities that we visit by night. It began following the success of our evening outings in Venice and Vienna.

Uniworld Super Ship La Venezia
La Venezia is a new Uniworld Super Ship

For example, as part of our Venice cruise, guests are taken through a private entrance to St Mark’s Basilica after dark and have the opportunity to see this incredible building by themselves.

In Vienna, we take guests to an intimate evening concert discovering the famous works of two of history’s most legendary composers, Mozart and Strauss, who spent much of their lives in the city. It is held in the city’s Albert Hall, known for its acoustics and stunning architecture. These evenings are also the perfect vehicle for showcasing the talent of some of Vienna’s finest dancers.

A cruise experience evolution

Based on the feedback we’ve had for these experiences, our product team has worked with our local connections to develop this into an immersive portfolio that will bring the destinations to life in ways we haven’t offered before.

In 2022, on our Remarkable Rhine and Historic Holland itinerary, Uniworld guests will learn about the tradition of Swiss beer making at Feldschlösschen Brewery, one of the oldest factories in Europe, while sampling brews along the way.

In Cochem, Germany, they will enjoy a private reception in the town’s baroque-era castle featuring a musical performance and local wines, while in Amsterdam, they will take a boat ride along the canals, with surprise entertainment along the way.

Uniworld river cruise in Venice
Evening excursions in Venice are the starting point for the new Uniworld scheme

We will expand the programme beyond this initial selection, so that there is a Nights Out option in as many suitable overnight stops as possible.

River cruising is primed for this kind of experience. We dock in the heart of the town or city centre, with all the culture, energy and entertainment that brings, just a stone’s throw from the ship. While guests are free to explore at leisure, we know that they are also looking for the insight, access and ease that comes with a programme like this.

For us it’s all about listening to our guests and offering more authentic connections to the destinations. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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